In addition to the wildflowers, I also planted some seeds for Water Bottle gourds (also known as Calabash, Opo, or Burma Boo Thee). It took nearly a month for the seeds to germinate inside. As such they didn’t get transplanted outdoors as soon as I would have liked. The plants started slow, but the electric fence kept the deer away. Finally, the vines started growing much faster and trying to climb as high as possible. At this point they produced some very big leaves. The first white flowers didn’t produce any fruit. The flowers opened at night, and closed once it got hot the next day. Finally, some of the flowers did develop some green gourds. When they got to be about the size of zucchini, the fruit turned brown and rotted. Finally, I did get a few that didn’t rot. They are not as long as the 40 inch long ones that my parents grew in Florida last year. The vines are still producing white flowers every night, but it is much too late in the season to expect anything larger. Once I turned off the electric fence, the deer came in and started eating the vines. Next year, I will try to germinate the seeds at least a month earlier, and make sure they get transplanted to a warm spot with lots of sunlight.
I saw this sand painting while visiting the temples in Bagan, Burma (Myanmar). I am not often tempted to purchase souvenirs, but the birds on the tree reminded me of a Navajo “Tree of Life” wool rug. We were only part way through the Spring 2016 Semester at Sea voyage when I purchased the sand painting and I wasn’t sure it would make the trip without being damaged . Two months later when I finally got home, the painting was still in good condition. I had it framed locally using non-reflective glass, and it is now next to the Navajo “Tree of Life” wool rug.